Singer Damien Flood has become the first casualty of Eurovision selection show Your Country Needs You.
The 32-year-old – one of six acts competing in the BBC1 show for the chance to represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest – got his marching orders after he found himself in the bottom two with the show’s youngest hopeful Charlotte.
And it was down to judge Andrew Lloyd Webber – who will be writing the song that the winning act will sing at the contest in Moscow – to choose which act to save and which to send home.
“I’m really sorry,” he told Damien, “and the reason I chose Charlotte is because she’s only 17 and she’s come such a huge way. You are older than her and I think she will learn a lot more from this.”
Earlier in the evening Lloyd Webber had described Damien as “a safe pair of hands” following his rendition of the Michael Bolton hit How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, while fellow judge Lulu questioned his “charisma”.
Four other acts – Jade, Mark, Emperors Of Soul, and The Twins made it through to next week’s show following the public vote.
As well as singing solo, the contestants also performed in group routines, including a performance of the Abba Eurovision classic Waterloo.
Meanwhile, it has been announced that songwriter Diane Warren – who has written the words to such hits as Leann Rimes’ How Do I Live and Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart – will pen the lyrics to the UK’s Eurovision entry this year.
Warren said she was “thrilled” to be working with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the song.
“I hope that a song from Andrew Lloyd Webber and me will spell a change of fortune for the UK at Eurovision,” she said.
The song will be revealed in the Your Country Needs You final on January 31.